Liverpool assistant coach Pepijn Lijnders spent seven long years in working in Portugal for the FC Porto youth academy. His training there prepared him for his time, first with the Liverpool Youth Academy and then at Jürgen Klopp’s side. Recently, the official site spoke to him about his time there and how it changed his outlook on coaching.
“‘There is no collective without good players and there is no success without a collective,’” Lijnders notes. “This sentence captures best how my ideas evolved during my time with Porto.
”I changed from a coach who had, as a starting point, individual development to a coach who started looking differently to the game itself. I never changed the essence - high-intensity, attacking football - I changed my way of thinking about [it], and especially the way to train it. I got more structure in my ideas, a better hierarchy of my principles. Tactical periodisation became my frame. It was a beautiful time.”
The prospect of returning there in the coming week is one that Lijnders seems to relish, saying, “One thing is going back to Dragao, but going back competing in the quarter-final of the world’s best club tournament makes it even more special.
”There are not many clubs in Europe with more history, tradition, culture and stadium atmosphere than FC Porto. Liverpool is definitely one of them, and I’m part of this special club. Porto made an impact on me as a coach, but even more as a person. I will forever speak about them with a great responsibility.”
The whole interview with the Reds’ assistant manager is worth a read. He seems like a smart and passionate man, and it’s easy to see why Klopp has promoted him up the ranks so quickly.